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Q. I’ve tried all kinds of commercial deodorants for underarm odor and have been disappointed in all of them. I’d scrub till my armpits bled, and then within minutes of my shower, I would stink again.

By chance, I found something that works for me. It is zinc cream for baby diaper rash. It’s cheap and easy to find in any pharmacy.

I apply an almost invisibly thin layer and rub it in. It keeps odor away all day long.

A. Zinc oxide has antimicrobial activity (Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology, December 2011). This may account for its odor-controlling properties.

We also have heard from many readers that liquid magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia) can control body odor. Here is one story:

“I’ve been using milk of magnesia on my armpits, and I am sold. It dries quickly and does not stain my clothes, plus it works to suppress body odor.”

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Q. I have high blood sugar. Is agave nectar a good choice for sweetening my five cups of tea a day? (It says it is low glycemic index.) If not, what would you recommend? I love my hot, sweet, milky tea.

A. Agave nectar has been promoted as a healthy sweetener, but it contains more fructose than high-fructose corn syrup. Although fructose does not raise blood sugar, it can raise triglycerides and put a strain on the liver. We suggest cutting back on agave. If you must sweeten your tea, you might consider a noncaloric sweetener like stevia or monk fruit.